Southern Fried Chicken with Green Tomato Gravy - Chef Recipe by Brad McDonald
Southern Fried Chicken with Green Tomato Gravy - Chef Recipe by Brad McDonald

Southern Fried Chicken with Green Tomato Gravy - Chef Recipe by Brad McDonald


Ingredients

8 large free-range chicken legs
1 L brine
500 ml buttermilk
1 L vegetable oil
1 kg pork lard
225 g unsalted butter
100 g streaky bacon

Creole Seasoning:

2 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
2 1/2 tsp white peppercorns
2 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 1/2 tsp paprika
7.5 g celery seeds
18 g sea salt
45 g tomato powder
2 1/4 tsp onion powder
2 1/2 tsp garlic powder
15 g dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme

Green Tomato Gravy:

1 Tbs bacon fat
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbs Creole seasoning
6 green tomatoes, chopped
100 ml water
1 Tbs brown sugar
75 g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
Sea salt and black pepper

Chicken Dredge:

400 g plain flour
200 g rice flour
100 g cornflour
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
25 g salt
1 tsp paprika
15 g baking powder

Method

Put the chicken in a dish, pour over the brine and leave in the fridge for 24 hours. Remove the chicken from the brine, place in a clean container and cover completely with the buttermilk. Leave in the fridge for another 24-36 hours. Meanwhile, season the oil by combining it with the lard, butter and bacon or ham in a deep-fat fryer. Heat slowly until the butter browns slightly and the impurities rise to the top, then strain and set aside.

Creole Seasoning:

Lightly toast the peppercorns, cayenne, paprika, celery seeds and salt in a dry frying pan, then grind them in a spice grinder. Mix with the remaining ingredients and store in an airtight container. The seasoning mix will keep for 3–4 weeks.

Green Tomato Gravy:

Heat the bacon fat in a heavy-based pan, add the onion, garlic, Creole seasoning and a pinch of salt and sweat until soft and translucent. Add the tomatoes and water, cover the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook slowly for 15-20 minutes, until all the ingredients have softened and the sauce has taken on a creamy texture. Remove from the heat and season with the sugar and some salt and pepper. Still off the heat, whisk in the butter a few pieces at a time until the sauce has a glossy, silky finish.

Chicken Dredge:

Mix together all the ingredients for the chicken dredge and put them in a large plastic bag. Reheat the seasoned oil to 165 in the deep-fat fryer. Remove the chicken pieces from the buttermilk, letting the excess drain off. Coat the chicken in the dredge by adding it to the bag a couple of pieces at a time and shaking to coat them well. Gently lift them straight into fryer, cooking in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Fry until the coating is golden brown and the chicken has an internal temperature of 70°. Drain on kitchen paper, leave to rest for a few minutes, then serve with the green tomato gravy.

Equipment

Deep fat fryer preferable.

Credits: This is an edited extract from Deep South by Brad McDonald published by Quadrille $45 and is available in stores nationally.

Photo Credits: This is an edited extract from Deep South by Brad McDonald published by Quadrille $45 and is available in stores nationally.


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